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Disk Utility drive encryption, software or hardware-based?

Hi, may I ask you two questions regarding using the Disk Utility to encrypt an external hard drive? 1) What type of encryption does an external hard drive (HDD) that I format as "Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted)" use? Does it encrypt data on hardware or software? On the one hand, since I'm encrypting the disk using software (the Disk Utility), it appears to be software encryption. In contrast, I no longer need to use the Disk Utility when I use the hard drive later. The encryption happens automatically when I drag files to the disk—as if the disk were performing hardware encryption. 2) If software encryption is involved, which is preferable—using the Disk Utility or downloading and installing a dedicated encryption program? Could you suggest any for Mac?

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Amanda Wong

Amanda Wong

Answered on Monday, February 19, 2024

macOS Disk Utility provides multiple file formats for you to choose from while formatting external hard drives on Mac. The macOS-exclusive APFS and Mac OS Extended also enable you to encrypt the drive. This kind of full disk encryption is software-based.

If you choose APFS encrypted or Mac OS Extended encrypted file format when you format an external hard drive on Mac, it encrypts the drive with a password, you need to enter the password to unlock the drive when you connect the drive to Mac. Hardware encryption just performs encryption and decryption using the device's onboard security.

In addition to encrypting the drive while formatting the disk in Disk Utility, you can also encrypt the external hard drive without erasing, turning on FileVault, or encrypting in Finder. In addition to macOS's built-in encryption tool, you can also choose third-party encryption software for Mac, such applications usually features more personalized options and functions. 

 

 

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